Professor Pappu joined Washington University in 2001 after two postdoctoral fellowships at Washington University and Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine. Professor Pappu is the Director of the Center for Biological Systems Engineering
. He is a member of DBBS’ Computational and Molecular Biophysics Program and the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders.
Professor Pappu's research interests are focused on the biophysics and engineering of intrinsically disordered proteins. His lab has made important contributions to understanding sequence-ensemble relationships of proteins that fail to fold autonomously into well-defined three dimensional structures. These efforts are contributing to de novo design of protein interaction networks involved in signaling pathways and transcriptional regulation organized around disordered proteins as hubs. Professor Pappu's lab also has a significant effort on aging-related protein misfolding and aggregation with a particular focus on neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases. The central goal is to understand how protein aggregation and protein homeostasis pathways collude to give rise to neuronal death as a function of aging.